Office Location: 400 Poydras Tower, Poydras St Suite 1975, New Orleans, LA 70130
Driving through the narrow streets of New Orleans can be frustrating at times. It can also be dangerous, with multiple collisions happening every day. In the blink of an eye, a car crash can change the course of your entire life.
At Stewart J Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, our New Orleans car accident attorneys have seen the devastating aftermath of car crashes firsthand. We know the struggle of dealing with serious injuries, and we understand the financial anxiety a car accident can cause for victims and their families. But you don’t have to take on careless drivers all by yourself.
If you are looking for a New Orleans car accident lawyer near you, we’re ready to help! Someone is ready to listen 24 HOURS A DAY, 7 DAYS A WEEK—so don’t hesitate to call 800-898-4877 or CLICK HERE to contact us online and discuss your case with us!
Don’t wait to learn about your legal rights. One wrong decision could mean all the difference between ruination and relief.
On this page, we aim to answer all of your car accident claims questions. We cover everything from causes of New Orleans car accidents to how the claims process works to how an auto accident attorney can help you get the most money from your car accident. Read on or reach out now for the answers you need!
Table of Contents
- How Can I Pay Off My Medical Bills Now?
- How Much Does A New Orleans Auto Accident Lawyer Cost?
- How Much is the Average Settlement for A Car Accident?
- How Long After A Car Accident Can I Claim Injury?
- Do You Need A Police Report for Car Insurance Claims?
- What to Do in Case of A New Orleans Car Accident
- How to File A New Orleans Car Accident Claim
- How Much Can Someone Sue for A Car Accident?
- How Do Car Accident Settlements Work?
- How Long Does A Car Accident Insurance Claim Take?
- Who is Liable for A New Orleans Car Accident?
- Who Can File A Claim for Damages in A Personal Injury Case?
- What If the At-Fault Driver Is Uninsured?
- What Can I Do if the Other Driver Fled the Scene?
- Can I File A Car Insurance Claim if the Accident Was My Fault?
- Can I Choose My Own Repair Shop After A New Orleans Car Accident?
- What Happens After An Accident If I Have A Car Note?
- Who Gets the Money in A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
- Why Choose Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers?
Recovering Compensation for Your Car Accident Losses
Car accidents are traumatic events that can result in a wide range of injuries and losses. Whether you have a broken bone, a traumatic brain injury, or a life-altering disability, the expenses add up quickly. A critical part of any New Orleans accident injury claim is determining the value of your losses so you and your personal injury lawyer know how much compensation to seek.
When calculating the value of your claim, your New Orleans car accident lawyer will consider the following:
- Costs of all medical care
- Estimated costs for any future medical care you will need
- Lost wages from missing work
- Future lost income, if your injuries keep you from returning to work
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Permanent disabilities or disfigurement
- Punitive damages in the event of egregious negligence by the defendant
When these damages are added together, you can estimate the total value of your claim. However, the struggle doesn’t stop there. Insurance companies regularly contest the value of losses in car accident cases. Insurance adjusters may try to question the severity of your injuries or the necessity of all medical care, dismissing your pain and invalidating your feelings every step of the way. They may also claim you could’ve returned to work sooner than you did, because they want to avoid covering your lost wages.
These are only a few of the many ways an insurance company will try to limit its liability. Insurance companies are NOT on your side. They may even try to tell you that you don’t need a law firm, but this is only an attempt to pay out less than they should.
Let our legal team handle your claim from the very beginning to make sure you have the best possible chance of receiving the maximum car accident settlement amount you deserve.
Causes of Auto Accidents in New Orleans
Driving in the French Quarter is a nightmare. If you’re commuting to or from the Central Business District, you’re bound to encounter rush hour traffic. Crowds of tourists on foot only make it worse. Everywhere you look, drivers are breaking the law. Whether they roll through a stop sign, cut you off, type up a text, or make other errors in judgment, dangerous drivers can bring your journey — and your daily life — to a screeching halt.
The first step to collect money for your losses is to identify which party or parties can be held responsible. However, proving a driver was at fault can be challenging, especially if NOPD officers didn’t issue any citations or make any arrests at the scene. This doesn’t mean you should give up, but it does mean you’ll need the help of a law firm with the right resources to determine liability.
When someone else is negligent and causes a car wreck, that party should face liability for all your losses. Simple, right? Not so fast! While you may assume that other drivers are always at fault, this is not always the case.
Review our page on New Orleans auto accident statistics or look at some of the common causes listed below:
New Orleans is a city known for its bars and jubilant nightlife, but each resident still has a responsibility to never get behind the wheel when tipsy. Unfortunately, not everyone believes this. Last year, more than 150 drivers in fatal Louisiana car crashes had blood alcohol levels over the legal limit of .08%. Alcohol was also involved in 35% of all fatal Louisiana motorcycle accidents, 21% of all fatal Louisiana pedestrian accidents, and 25% of all fatal Louisiana bicycle accidents that year. Accident rates also spike during Mardi Gras season due to drunk driving. If you were hurt in a New Orleans drunk driving accident, you deserve justice.
This one doesn’t just apply to narcotics. Did you know some prescription drugs and even over-the-counter drugs can affect a person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle? They may be charged with an impairment DUI if they’ve been substantially affected by their medication, even if it was legally obtained.
Every day in America, 8 people are killed by distracted drivers. Cell phones are the biggest temptation drivers face today, but there are numerous other driver distractions like snacking, changing a radio station, applying makeup, and even chatting with passengers. Younger drivers have a higher risk of getting into a distracted driving accident. To avoid an accident, it’s imperative to keep your eyes on the road, keep your hands on the wheel, and keep your mind on driving!
New Orleans distracted driving laws prohibit drivers from using mobile devices to write, send, or read messages or posts. They may only use their phones for GPS features or to report emergencies. Additionally, drivers cannot talk on the phone while passing through a New Orleans school zone. If you break these laws, you will be fined and your license may be suspended.
Studies show drowsy driving can be just as bad as drunk driving! A study by AAA estimated that fatigued driving contributes to approximately 10% of all car crashes, and missing out on just a few hours of sleep can more than quadruple your risk for a crash. Falling asleep at the wheel is a serious problem because in just a few seconds, a fatigued driver’s car could drift into oncoming traffic and cause a head-on collision.
According to the city’s code of ordinances, the speed limit for most New Orleans streets is 25 miles per hour. It might be tempting to break this rule when you’re in a rush, but keep in mind that speeding contributes to nearly one third of all car accident fatalities. It’s a simple law of physics: the faster two objects are traveling, the greater the force of impact will be when they collide.
Running Red Lights
We all have places to be, but that’s no excuse for disobeying a traffic light. Many broadside collisions, also known as T-bone accidents, occur due to drivers zooming through red lights. Thanks to New Orleans red light cameras, drivers will be fined a minimum of $100 if they’re caught running a red light. Additional fines for speeding apply.
Failing to Yield
When a reckless driver blows through an intersection without respecting the right of way, they endanger the lives of others. If a particularly impatient driver fails to yield the right of way at a crosswalk, serious New Orleans pedestrian accidents can happen.
If a driver is tailgating the vehicle in front of them, they won’t have adequate time to avoid a crash if that vehicle stops or encounters an accident up ahead. When driving or stopping behind another vehicle, a good rule of thumb is that you should be able to see where their tires touch the ground. Always leave at least that much space — preferably more!
Dangerous Lane Changes
Aside from tailgating, impatient drivers in New Orleans have a few other bad habits. Other aggressive driving maneuvers include overtaking a vehicle and cutting someone off in the midst of a dangerous lane change. This aggression can surprise other drivers and cause them to stop abruptly. Sideswipe accidents and multi-car pile-ups can happen as a result of this behavior.
Additionally, when it comes to motorcycle accidents, motorcycle riders sometimes put themselves at risk by riding in between lanes of slow or stationary traffic. This maneuver, known as lane-splitting, is illegal in Louisiana.
Dangerous New Orleans Roads
State and local transportation departments in the New Orleans area are notorious for failing to maintain roads and highways. In fact, in recent years, I-10 ranked as the fourth-worst maintained roadway in the entire United States! All too often, drivers hit a pothole or another dangerous road hazard and lose control of their cars, causing them to crash.
There is no excuse for crumbling or cracked roads, and negligent government agencies should fully compensate any injured accident victims. However, Louisiana has specific laws that govern claims against public agencies. If you don’t follow the procedures exactly, you risk losing the compensation you deserve. If you think a road hazard or dangerously designed road caused your crash, call our New Orleans car accident law firm as soon as you possibly can.
Sometimes even the most responsible drivers on the smoothest roads lose control and crash. Often, this happens because an important part of the car malfunctioned without warning. Some vehicle parts that can malfunction and cause accidents include brakes, axles, tires, steering systems, ignition switches, airbags, and more. Auto manufacturers have a duty to make and sell safe vehicles and parts. When defective design or assembly causes a malfunction, the manufacturer should cover all related losses for an accident victim. However, going up against large corporations is intimidating and challenging. Make sure you have a fierce legal team standing up for your rights against auto manufacturers.
Additionally,18-wheeler trucks traveling through New Orleans> bring their own set of problems, like big blind spots and wide turns.
Our experienced legal team handles cases involving many different causes of car accidents. We can also help you determine if a wrongful death lawsuit is possible after a fatal New Orleans car accident. No matter what caused your accident, we want to help make it right.
New Orleans Car Accident Attorney FAQ
Over one thousand fatal car accidents happen in Louisiana each year. Tens of thousands of other crashes leave survivors struggling to pick up the pieces. After a car accident, victims often feel lost, confused, and overwhelmed. Their daily life has been brought to a screeching halt and problems are coming from all directions. How will they get to work? Who will pay for their medical bills?
If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, you don’t have to crumble under the weight of these worries. Help is here.
On this page we answer common questions about New Orleans car accident cases, as well as how a personal injury lawyer can help you with your case. Reach out and get connected with a New Orleans personal injury lawyer now!
After any car accident, your first concern should be your physical health. By pursuing a personal injury claim with the help of an experienced lawyer, you can get reimbursed for any copays and out of pocket expenses you’ve dealt with as a result of the accident.
In addition to caring for your body, it’s also important to see a doctor to properly document your injuries and support your claims. However, we understand not everyone can afford prompt, professional medical treatment. The at-fault driver’s insurance won’t pay for your surgery when you need it. Instead, they expect you to pay out of pocket, then submit the bills to them for reimbursement afterward. Even then, they might try to deny your claim! So what’s the solution?
A Letter of Protection
Your New Orleans car accident injury lawyer can help you pay for your medical bills by providing a letter of protection. A letter of protection is a document submitted to a medical professional by a personal injury lawyer representing an injured claimant. It guarantees the healthcare provider’s payment from a pending claim or lawsuit. Think of it as a fancy “IOU!” You get treatment now, while your attorney keeps track of the bills then pays them off with a portion of your final settlement award.
At our personal injury law firm, we understand many car accident victims struggle to cover bills and expenses. That’s why all of our case evaluations are free of charge. Our live experts can communicate with you via phone, email, or virtual consultation at any time — 24/7, 365 days a year.
The good news doesn’t stop there. If you decide to hire us, we charge nothing unless we recover compensation for you.
That’s right: we don’t get paid until you do! How is this possible?
Most personal injury attorneys work for a contingency fee, which is an agreed-upon portion deducted from a client’s final settlement award. Their payment is contingent on your victory. If they lose the case, they get nothing. This is a sure-fire way to confirm your goals align with your attorney’s goals. Unlike the insurance companies, they won’t try to fool you.
Still unsure? Contact our experts now for a free, confidential case evaluation to share your questions and concerns. We’re here for you!
If you get hurt in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, property damage, pain and suffering, and other related expenses. All of these losses fall into categories called “damages.” Monetary damages refer to expenses where the dollar amount is easy to prove via copies of bills, receipts, etc. Non-monetary damages are harder to quantify as they refer to more abstract losses like trauma, anxiety, depression, and pain. Let’s take a closer look.
- Medical bills. This category includes all medical expenses, from surgeries to prescriptions!
- Physical therapy and extended care. If you require ongoing physical therapy sessions or home health aides, you can include these in your claim.
- Lost income. While you recover, you’re bound to miss days, weeks, or even months of work. You can be compensated for these lost wages.
- Lost earning capacity. If your car accident injuries result in a disability that prevents you from performing your job at all, you can claim lost earning capacity.
- Property damage. What is considered property damage in a car accident? If your vehicle was damaged or totaled, you can collect money for its repair or replacement. Additionally, if personal belongings were lost or damaged, you can include them in your claim.
- Funeral and burial expenses. If you lost a loved one in a fatal New Orleans car accident, you may be entitled to special damages from a wrongful death claim.
- Pain and suffering. Following a car accident, you deserve to be compensated for your pain and suffering. This is a valid category! Don’t let insurance companies make you feel like you have to “brush it off.”
- PTSD. It’s not uncommon for car accident victims to have PTSD, flashbacks, and other mental struggles. This disorder can impact your life considerably and require therapy.
- Disfigurement and disability. If you were burned, paralyzed, or otherwise disabled or disfigured by a car accident, you are entitled to compensation for how this will impact the rest of your life.
- Loss of enjoyment of life. If your injuries prevent you from doing activities you once enjoyed, you can be compensated.
- Loss of consortium. Victims and their spouses may be entitled to these damages if their relationship has changed as a result of car accident injuries.
Here’s a tip: Carefully keep track of everything. Many people don’t realize the extent of their accident-related expenses. If they need to hire help with chores, transportation, or childcare while they recover, they can include these costs in their personal injury claim.
In personal injury cases, a fair claim settlement will include all of these expenses and more, even your projected future expenses.
In New Orleans drunk driving cases, punitive damages may also apply.
What About Comparative Fault?
Beware: some states have laws that reduce your settlement award if you are partially at fault for the accident. Louisiana is an at-fault state with pure comparative negligence, which means your settlement award may be reduced depending on the percentage of fault attributed to you. Here’s an example: If you’re 25% responsible for a car crash and you claim $40,000 in damages, you may only be eligible to receive $30,000.
To learn more about the average car accident claim payout and to get help filing your bodily injury claim, speak with a Louisiana personal injury lawyer now.
All personal injury claims are subject to a time limit called the statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations for car accidents in Louisiana is one year from the date of the accident. The clock is ticking! If you’re wondering when to get a lawyer after an auto accident, the answer is ASAP. If you miss an important deadline, you may miss out on compensation altogether.
There are a few exceptions to Louisiana’s statute of limitations, wherein the court may allow you to file after the deadline has passed:
- If the injury was not discovered until after the accident.
- If the injured victim is a minor at the time of the accident. Once they turn 18, they can file a claim for a previous accident. They have until their 19th birthday to file.
A New Orleans car accident attorney can help you collect evidence, strengthen your case, and file your claim. If you wait too long to take action, important evidence could be lost forever.
You must report all accidents to your car insurance company, but what about the police?
In New Orleans, the law requires you to call police at the scene of an accident if it involves injury, death, intoxication, or property damage in excess of $500.
However, we recommend reporting all car accidents to the NOPD because their accident reports contain valuable details and evidence.
If the driver who hit you was drunk or under the influence of drugs, the police can also conduct field sobriety tests. The results of these tests are important as they may help you pursue punitive damages.
If you do not report your accident to police, your insurance company can deny your claim. To learn more about your options, contact a New Orleans injury attorney.
How to Get a New Orleans Accident Report
You can get a copy of your New Orleans police report in person, by mail, or online. New Orleans accident reports can be obtained by contacting the NOPD Records and Identification Support Services by phone at (504) 658-5455 or in person at 715 South Broad Street in New Orleans, Louisiana. Alternatively, access your New Orleans police accident report online at BuyCrash.com.
For more help getting a copy of your accident report, consult an experienced New Orleans car accident attorney!
New Orleans has more auto accidents than any other parish in Louisiana. In case you find yourself involved in one, here’s what to do:
1. Call for help – Never leave the scene of a car accident! Even if you feel “fine” after your fender bender, you should get a professional assessment. Due to the rush of adrenaline that courses through our bodies during a car accident, many injuries don’t show signs until the damage has already been done. After a car accident, many victims try to shake off their aches and pains because they are afraid of expensive medical bills. Time heals all, right? Wrong. Even if you don’t need to take an ambulance ride away from the scene of the crash, you need to see a doctor as soon as possible. Many serious injuries including soft tissue injuries and traumatic brain injuries require professional assessments and diagnostic imaging. You might not notice any symptoms at all, but if you postpone treatment for too long, you could suffer the consequences. Don’t try to “grin and bear it.”
Additionally, even if you can afford it, sometimes your general practitioner will refuse to treat you after a car accident because they don’t want to deal with insurance claims paperwork. In this case, we can connect you to reputable doctors as well as chiropractors, physical therapists, and more. Furthermore, you should call NOPD to the scene of the crash so they can create a police report. This report will contain important details for your future car accident insurance claim.
2. Take pictures – Photos are crucial evidence for your case. Use your smartphone to take photos of vehicle damage, road debris, and signs. Photograph the scene from multiple angles. You can never be too thorough, and there’s no such thing as “too much evidence!”
3. Exchange information – Exchange insurance information with the other driver involved in the accident. Write down their license plate number and driver’s license number. Additionally, collect contact info from anyone who witnessed the crash. Witness testimony can be game-changing.
4. Contact a New Orleans car accident lawyer – When dealing with a car accident claim, there’s no need to feel lost and overwhelmed. Leave it to the professionals. At Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, we know how to maximize your auto insurance claim. A New Orleans car accident attorney will know how to stand up for your rights, how to negotiate with insurance companies, and how to write a demand letter for an auto accident settlement that puts a spring back in your step — and a deposit back in your bank account.
To file your New Orleans car accident insurance claim, follow these five simple steps:
- Call your car insurance company as well as the other driver’s insurance company.
- Provide them with only the facts (time, date, location, make and model of vehicles, names of drivers, etc.)
- Do not guess, speculate, or apologize during a call with an insurance company – even if it is your own provider!
- If a police report has already been generated, provide the accident report number.
- At the end of the call you should get a claim number and a claims specialist. Write these down somewhere safe!
Alright, so you’ve filed your claim and launched into the legal process. Now what about how much to expect from a car accident settlement? The exact number will depend on your unique circumstances, but typical car accident settlement amounts include all of the damages we mentioned above. Everyone’s situation will be different. For example, the average settlement payout for whiplash injury and a scraped bumper will be far less than the payout for a traumatic brain injury and totaled car.
Settling a personal injury accident claim is never a fun process, but we try our best to make it an easy one. If you’re wondering how to get the most money from a car accident, our New Orleans personal injury lawyer can evaluate your case and help you explore your options. Why miss out on free expert advice?
At our New Orleans personal injury law firm, we don’t view a new client as just another case number. We listen to their story, and we see the big picture. Because of this, we know every claim will proceed differently because every victim has a different experience, but we want to give you an idea of what to expect.
Here’s the typical course of an accident injury claim after partnering with a lawyer:
- Collecting evidence and determining liability – Our investigators do whatever they can to collect evidence, including accessing security cameras, traffic light cameras, and other surveillance footage. They also compile photos, medical records, phone records, witness testimony, and more. This evidence is used to determine who is at fault for the accident.
- Filing the claim – We compile all of the supporting evidence and officially file the claim with the insurance company.
- Dealing with adjusters – Some people attempt to handle an insurance claim on their own. Unfortunately, they often fail to recognize the tricks used by most insurance companies and adjusters, and they end up settling for less than they deserve. Don’t get taken advantage of. Let your lawyer take the reins.
- Assessing settlement offers – The insurance company will make you an offer, but if you accept too fast, you could forfeit your right to collect any more money. Don’t be hasty. A lawyer can fight for you during the next step!
- Negotiating – If an insurance adjuster wants to settle right away, don’t fall for it. Insurance companies are looking for ways to take advantage of you throughout every step of the personal injury claim process. Your personal injury lawyer will stand up to them and strive to secure the maximum compensation for your losses. Eventually, through rounds of negotiations, an acceptable settlement can be reached. If not, we’ll go into litigation to battle it out in court. (Don’t worry; most car accident cases settle out of court, but we’re prepared to do whatever it takes to put money in your hands!)
- Getting compensation – At last, your settlement is awarded! Your lawyer will collect their contingent fee from a fraction of the disbursement check. Finally, they will write you a separate check for the remaining amount.
Throughout the car accident claim settlement process, let this be your mantra: “Don’t trust insurance companies.” They look for every chance to undermine you, dismiss your claim, and avoid paying you. This includes bringing up pre-existing conditions, gaps in treatment, and even social media posts. Never sign anything and never give a recorded statement to an insurance company. Direct all correspondence to your New Orleans car accident lawyer instead.
So now you know how settlement works, but how long does settlement take?
The length of the car accident lawsuit process can vary widely, anywhere from a few months to a few years.
Generally all medical treatment should be completed before an accident injury claim’s value can be accurately calculated. If you’re still undergoing treatment, it could take several more months to receive your settlement check. However, you should never rush your medical care, lest you get stuck paying future bills by yourself.
Additionally, it depends on how stubborn the insurance company is during your negotiation. If you need to take them to court over their unfair offers, the process can drag on much longer. Luckily, most car accident claims settle out of court.
For best results, trust the guidance of a New Orleans personal injury attorney from start to finish.
To hold an at-fault driver accountable for the damage they’ve done, you and your lawyer must first determine liability. You can do this by proving the following:
- Duty: The at-fault driver owed you a “duty of care.” This means they had a duty to behave safely and responsibly to avoid harming other people.
- Breach of duty: The at-fault driver violated the duty of care with bad behavior.
- Damages: You suffered damages (like injury and/or expense) due to the at-fault driver’s breach of duty.
- Proximate cause: The at-fault driver’s behavior/actions can be clearly and conclusively linked to the damages you suffered.
While driver error is a common cause of car accidents, it isn’t the only one. Aside from individual drivers, other parties such as auto parts manufacturers, road construction crews, bus companies, and trucking companies can also be held liable under certain circumstances. For example, rideshare companies often have third-party liability insurance policies for their drivers. If you were the victim of a Lyft or Uber crash, a New Orleans injury lawyer can help you untangle the mess.
When it comes to how to determine car accident liability, turn to the experts. No matter who caused the accident, we’ll get to the bottom of it. Reach out to a New Orleans car accident attorney today. By working with investigators and crash reconstruction specialists, we can help you prove who was at fault for your car crash.
When it comes to personal injury claims, all accident victims may be eligible. This includes drivers and passengers of any car involved, as well as cyclists or pedestrians. You can even sue the driver of the car you were riding in. If it was a friend or family member, don’t worry about things getting too personal — in most cases, you want to collect money from their insurance company, not from their own wallet.
To learn more about your rights and options as an accident victim, speak with a New Orleans auto accident attorney.
In Louisiana, all drivers are required to carry liability insurance. Minimum injury liability coverage is $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident. Minimum property damage liability coverage is $25,000. In 2011 Louisiana introduced the “No Pay, No Play” policy to prevent uninsured car accident victims from collecting compensation unless their damages exceed certain catastrophic thresholds.
If the driver who hit you did not have insurance, they will be fined. They could even have their vehicle impounded. But where does that leave you? How can you collect compensation? Turn to your own insurance company to see the possibilities.
If your car insurance policy features uninsured motorist coverage or underinsured motorist coverage, your expenses may be covered.
If the other driver was working for a company at the time of the accident, commercial insurance coverage may apply. If you were driving a company vehicle, your employer’s commercial insurance or workers’ comp may apply.
Ready to explore your options? Our New Orleans, Louisiana car accident lawyers are ready to help!
If you were the victim of a hit-and-run accident, a New Orleans car accident lawyer may still be able to help you by accessing security cameras, traffic light cameras, and other surveillance footage to track down the perpetrator. Additionally, any details you can remember about the other vehicle or its driver will be useful.
To begin building your case, contact a New Orleans car accident lawyer ASAP.
Yes. Louisiana is an at-fault state, but thanks to its pure comparative negligence rules, you may still have a valid claim even if you were partly to blame for an accident and even if you received a ticket at the scene of the accident.
Your settlement award will be reduced in accordance with the percentage of fault attributed to you. For example, under pure comparative negligence, someone who is found 95% responsible for an accident might still be eligible to collect 5% of their total damages.
Be aware that if you are determined to be partially at fault for a crash, your insurance rates may increase.
Determining liability can be difficult, and divvying it up between multiple parties can be an even bigger challenge. For best results, partner with a New Orleans car accident lawyer who knows how to fight for your rights and maximize your compensation.
Yes! After an accident, you have the right to choose where your car goes for repairs. Be wary of letting an insurance company suggest an auto body shop; they don’t always have your best interests in mind.
Wherever your car ends up, an insurance adjuster will visit to assess the property damage, the repair costs, and the current market value of the vehicle.
Unfortunately, if you have a car note and you get into an accident, you will still have to pay off your vehicle in full.
If your car was totaled, your property damage claim should amount to the car’s current market value. You can use this money to help pay off the car note.
If your car was damaged but not totaled, your property damage claim should compensate you for the necessary repairs. Afterward, you can continue making payments on your usual schedule.
When someone dies in a fatal accident, wrongful death claims and wrongful death lawsuits may be brought by their surviving relatives. While no amount of money can bring back a loved one or replace what they contributed to this world, wrongful death settlements can ease the burdens of grieving families and help them get back on their feet.
Damages in a wrongful death claim may include the following:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of love, affection, emotional support, counsel, etc.
- Loss of income, especially if the victim was the primary earner
Because some victims die from accident-related complications months later in a hospital, the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is one year from the date of death, not from the date of the accident.
Who can file a wrongful death claim? Wrongful death damages may be available to the following parties in the following order:
- The victim’s spouse or children
- The victim’s parents, if no spouse or children exist
- The victim’s siblings, if no spouse, child, or parent is available
- The victim’s grandparents, if none of the above are available
What happens in a wrongful death lawsuit will depend on the unique circumstances of your case. For more information on how to file a wrongful death claim in New Orleans, consult a personal injury attorney.
How is A Wrongful Death Claim Different from A Survival Action?
After a fatal accident, there are two different options for legal recourse.
The first, a wrongful death claim, is intended to compensate a deceased victim’s surviving family members (see above.)
The second, a survival action, is an action that relatives or representatives of the decedent take on behalf of the decedent. If the death was not instantaneous and the victim suffered and/or racked up medical bills before passing away, relatives or representatives of their estate can file for those damages on behalf of the victim.
New Orleans Car Accident Lawyer Brian Page
Personal injury attorneys are trained to look at the big picture. They know how deeply a car accident impacts someone’s life. With the help of experts and investigators, they consider all of your future accident-related expenses, not just the ones you’re dealing with today.
By teaming up with a car accident lawyer, you could get an exponentially higher settlement amount than if you’d handled it yourself. When it comes to how to choose an auto accident lawyer, look for someone with local expertise.
Attorney Brian Page is a graduate of the Loyola University New Orleans College of Law and is currently licensed to practice in all Louisiana State Courts as well as in Federal Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
As a proud New Orleans resident and Super Lawyers nominee, Brian has dedicated his career to helping his fellow citizens bounce back from life-changing accidents. His past experience as a private investigator and his commitment to handling cases all the way from intake through trial enables him to meet the needs and expectations of personal injury victims throughout New Orleans.
Brian knows all the tricks insurance companies try to pull to discourage injured victims, and more importantly, he knows how to fight back! Reach out now to hear how Brian can put his skills to work for you.
Settling a personal injury claim with an insurance company can be a serious struggle. After reading this page, you may think you know how to settle a car accident claim without a lawyer, but trust us: a New Orleans car accident lawyer can help you get way more money from your accident.
Automobile accident claims settlements can be life-changing for victims and their families, but without the expert guidance of a lawyer, they may miss out on the money they deserve.
Our client-first approach means we prioritize customer satisfaction every step of the way. We treat our clients with the respect and compassion they deserve during this stressful time, and we are dedicated to their recovery. We work fast to connect our clients to the medical care they need at no upfront cost.
We are more than just your attorneys. We are your allies and advocates.
With national recognition, local expertise, and over two decades of experience, Stewart J. Guss Injury Accident Lawyers are proud to serve New Orleans residents. To see how we can help you, give us a call right now for a free, convenient, confidential consultation.
Stewart J Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, New Orlean Office
Real People, Real Results
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